When you're traveling somewhere new on vacation, reading a book inspired by that place to helps you explore. Fiction or nonfiction, the book describes the environment, scenery, history, community, and values of your destination location. By the time you're done with your vacation read, a city or forest may feel like home.
Vacationing in Oregon can be fun and adventurous and nearly magical as Travel Oregon shows in their Only Slightly Exaggerated video. And I may be biased toward the state, but sightseeing here brings a wide variety of views. While you're touring the state and planning your vacation, read books inspired by the beautiful state.
Reading books set in Portland while visiting on vacation might guide your plans to visit the city's unique bridges. The descriptive language and scenic setting might inspire a hike through Multnomah Falls or a coastal bicycle tour from Astoria to Coos Bay. The right historical fiction set in small-town Oregon may lead you to a charming local museum, and show the background behind the lives of your main characters. Reading your vacation can give you a deeper look at a new place and give more perspective.
The Lathe of Heaven
By Ursula K. Leguin
Few authors are so iconic of the Portland spirit and literary pride as the late Ursula K. Leguin, and her speculative sci-fi novel The Lathe of Heaven is even set in the year 2002 as imagined from 1971 where massive overpopulation and continuous rain and the effects of global warming are problems for the population and elsewhere global war rages on. George Orr, a draftsman, has been practicing effective dreams that dreams rewrite for everyone except himself. Orr must try to save his loved ones and the world from the eruption of Mount Hood, nuclear war, and more.
Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon
By Chuck Palahniuk
Part autobiography and part travel guide, Chuck Palahniuk's Fugitives and Refugees takes readers through his favorite haunts, paths, and clubs. Readers will get a deep look at the underside of old Portland, that only someone who has walked its streets for years would know. Full of local history and customs, this walk in Portland is full of perspective.
By Katherine Dunn
Oregon author, Katherine Dunn was inspired by bred roses of the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park for her novel, Geek Love. Dunn's book shows a couple that breeds children for their circus show that tours the United States. Don't be fooled by the sweet title; these geeks are the kind known for biting into live chickens during the circus show. The dark tale calls into question what it means to be freakish, exploring cults and faith and the mutation of man.
By Robin Cody
In 1960 in Calamus, a small logging town alongside the Columbia River, Wade Curren is a star athlete who is content with the boundaries of his hometown. Lorna, a waitress and his girlfriend, is an intelligent reader, and she wants to escape the trap of Calamus. Jesse Howl arrives from the Klamath Warm Springs Reservation, and shakes the pair and the rest of the town up, not acting like everyone expects an Indian to act. The three become friends and explore what identity means in a place that tries to keep everyone in neat boxes.
Forgive Me If I've Told You This Before
The shy, smart Triinu Hoffman struggles to fit in to her life in a small rural Oregon school amidst bullying, harassment, and the other angsts of growing up in 1989. Forgive Me If I've Told You This Before explores the process of discovering sexuality and identity in an age when people in Oregon tried to pass measures against gay people. In order to appreciate the beauty found in Oregon, it's important to understand the history and the struggle of teens that took place not long in the past.